Why Wyc Grousbeck is feeling both ‘optimism’ and ‘annoyance’ with the Celtics this year


“I think out of annoyance, and regret comes: ‘What can we do to make it better?’ That’s the feeling I’m getting from the guys”

Wyc Grousbeck. Jim Davis/Globe Staff)
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Emotional, but authentic.

That’s how Celtics governor Wyc Grousbeck described his initial reaction to seeing Jrue Holiday take the floor with his new Boston teammates for the first time on Wednesday.

“We watched practice [Wednesday], the rest of us,” Grousbeck said. “Jrue was out there, and in the 21 years of being here for me and Steve [Pagliuca] we’ve agreed that this was one of the most energized, focus-driven, completely insanely connected groups.”

Grousbeck said the practice brought back memories of 2008, the last time the Celtics won a championship.

“That’s how I really felt,” Grousbeck said. “I remember in 2008 when that team got put together, that feeling when Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen walked into practice with everybody else and all of a sudden things just felt different.”

Paul Pierce attended Wednesday’s practice. He was trying to bring back some of that magic from 2008, Grousbeck said. Pierce’s appearance and Holiday’s debut were a few of the many factors that contributed to an overall feeling of excitement around the team.

“I just want to say, there was just a real feeling of optimism and also, I think, annoyance,” Grosbeck said. “We’ve been in what? Five conference finals in the last six or seven years? We’ve been knocking on the door. We’ve been in the Finals, leading the Finals and lost.”

“Last year we were down 0-3, came back and lost the Game 7. It couldn’t be more frustrating,” Grousbeck continued. “I think out of annoyance, and regret comes ‘what can we do to make it better?’ That’s the feeling I’m getting from the guys. I don’t want to speak for the guys, that’s my personal feeling about myself as well because I blame myself when we don’t win.”

Grousbeck said that the Celtics’ ownership group wanted to bring Holiday to Boston for a long time and that it was committed to doing what it took to get a deal done.

The Celtics will be over the NBA’s second apron, and are prepared to pay the price it takes to contend, Grousbeck said.

“We haven’t blinked at all,” Grousbeck said. “I was part of the committee that put the aprons in place with the players’ committee. We’re aware of all that. I believe we’re going to be over the second apron and paying those penalties and that’s the way life is. It’s designed so that there’s more competition in the league and we’re fine with that as long as we win.”

The Holiday trade is just the latest sign that the Celtics are willing to shake things up in order to chase an 18th championship.

“Seemingly, the guys and we up here all share the same feeling, ” Grousbeck said. “Which is it’s about time that we get started and go somewhere. It’s about the journey, but the destination would be pretty great if we can get there.”